Philip Beesley : Workshop + Lecture
Philip Beesley from Waterloo Architecture/Philip Beesley Architect Inc. visited Ball State along with Brad Rothenberg of Pratt Institute to conduct a physical computing workshop for An Inconvenient Studio. The resulting installation from this four-day workshop is a kinetic mesh system entitled Arcus Animus.
The hanging, layered meshwork composed of impact-resistant acrylic, bamboo, and mylar components reacts to human occupation interpreted by arrayed proximity sensors. These physical reactions consist of “shaking” and “waving” movements actuated pneumatically using solenoid valves and custom air muscles, and controlled by Arduino microcontollers with processing-based code development.
Arcus Animus is a recent incarnation from a long lineage of mesh and actuator installations at Waterloo Architecture and Philip Beesley Architect Inc. from 2006-09, and we kindly thank Philip and Brad for their tremendous energies throughout the workshop, as Arcus Animus was fabricated and constructed.
Additionally, Philip Beesley delivered a lecture at Ball State entitled: “Partial Objects.” In his lecture, Beesley presented a series of his recent field-oriented installations and offered a post-humanist cultural context for this work. Illustrated projects included the Hylozoic Soil series, an immersive interactive reef construction composed of overlapping flexible meshworks populated with kinetic ‘pores’, recently installed in Montreal, Linz and Madrid, and the 2008 UCLA installation Endothelium, a delicate skeletal tripod-field powered by densely massed organic power units and organized as unit-clusters forming a continuous lattice outfitted with faint signal-lure lights, microprocessor-controlled burrowing agents and space-filling filter packs.
Philip Beesley is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, University of Waterloo who practices digital media art and experimental architecture in Toronto. His work in the last two decades has focused on field-oriented sculpture and landscape installations, with extensions in stage design and buildings. His projects in the past several years have increasingly worked with immersive digitally fabricated lightweight ‘textile’ structures, and the most recent generations of his work feature interactive kinetic systems that use dense arrays of microprocessor, sensors and actuator systems. He is co-director of the Integrated Centre for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing at Waterloo. He was educated in visual art at Queen’s University, in technology at Humber College, and in architecture at the University of Toronto. He was a member of art and performance collaboratives Open Series and Studio Six/Kataraque in Kingston and the George Meteskey Ensemble in New York. Periods of study were undertaken in Rome at the Vatican and the American Academy and in New York with the Wooster Group. Prior to beginning his practice he apprenticed in instrument making and in lighting design. Distinctions for his work include the Prix de Rome in Architecture (Canada), Governor-General’s and Dora Mavor Moore Awards. He is the 2009 recipient of Fundacion Telefonica’s VIDA Award.
Ball State Installlation/Development Workshop:
Philip Beesley, University of Waterloo/PBAi
Brad Rothenberg, Pratt Institute
An Inconvenient Studio: